What deer activity are you seeing?
Things might be slowing down elsewhere, but Texas is delivering the goods this week. The rut is on.
Ronnie Parsons, a widely successful bowhunter operating in the San Angelo area, said the rut is now full-on in his hunting area. Bucks are chasing and tending does. Buck are showing up with broken antlers. He even noted that fewer deer are visiting feeders, and when they do arrive, they stay only a few minutes and move on.
Texas Hill Country
Mike Stroff, host of Savage Outdoors TV, owner of SOE Hunts and Western Ranch Outfitters, and Realtree 365 show host, said whitetails are running wide-open right now. Rattling and grunting have proven incredibly effective in bringing bucks into range. This should prove one of the best weekends of the season to get into the field in this part of Texas.
Matt Futtere, owner of Veteran Innovative Products, said weather has stabilized with cool mornings, warm, sunny days and steady winds. This has encouraged deer to return to typical morning and evening movement patterns. He said some does have returned to feeders and some whopper bucks have been sighted each outing. Also, please send Futtere your thoughts and prayers, as he recently began chemotherapy in his fight against cancer.
Stroff said South Texas whitetails are just beginning to show rutting interest. He is seeing a lot of 2- and 3-year-old bucks chase does aggressively, and more mature bucks are beginning to appear during daylight hours. This pre-rut period can prove quite productive for rattling, as bucks are sorting pecking orders.
The whitetail rut is slowing down here. Expect to see continued buck movement and interest in does for the next couple weeks, but not on a blanket basis and not including the same intensity as you may have enjoyed only a week ago. Mature bucks are transitioning back to feeders and recharging from the rigors of the rut. They should become more predictable again.
Joni Sanderford, out in western Oklahoma on the Croton Creek Ranch, said whitetails are still chasing hard with plenty of action. The weekend prospects look good.
Danny Farris, owner of Ultimate Predator Gear and hunting on Colorado's Eastern Plains, said post-rut cruising is slowing down. He's seeing the occasional buck dogging a doe (or bedded down with one), but he's also observing bucks out feeding and then wandering off to a bedding area alone. The 2019 rut is winding down in eastern Colorado.
December marks the end of the statewide general rifle seasons and the wait for late-archery season opening on January 1. Serious rutting activity won't be observed until around Christmas.
Darren Choate, managing partner of Western Whitetail Magazine, said recent hunts were met with heavy precipitation (rain and snow) across the state. There are still a few weather blips in the forecast for the next 10 days. The rut is closing in now. This will no doubt occur in the northern regions of the state first, followed by the southern reaches. The rut won't go full bore until mid- to late-month, while late rifle rut hunts and late archery seasons begin midmonth.
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